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Celebrations and Goodbyes - ITERA 2022 comes to Close

Rob Howard / 20.08.2022See All Event Posts Follow Event
The top 3 teams at ITERA 2022
The top 3 teams at ITERA 2022 / © Rob Howard

The prize giving for ITERA 2022 took place tonight at Corran Halls in Oban, back where it all began just a week ago.  

It seems far longer, in a good way, with so many intense experiences bundled up into that indefinable concept called an Expedition Adventure Race. Teams will have so many memories of Scotland to take away with them, of iconic locations like Fingal's Cave and the North Face of Ben Nevis, and of moments shared with their team mates and with the race staff and volunteers along the way.

By the finish thirty teams crossed the finish line, 6 full course finishers, 21 short course, and 3 non competitive, and in his presentation James Thurlow said, "At the end of day 3 we had all 32 teams still racing, and I can't think of any other expedition event where that has ever happened. We had an amazing number of teams get to the end and that's what I love to see. I'm awestruck by that statistic and that so many of you guys kept going."

He did pick out a few teams and people to highlight. The Life Experience team stopped to assist a team in distress, despite racing for cut-offs themselves and received a present from the team they helped out, and James said their sportsmanship was part of what AR is all about. He mentioned Helen Mercer of the Type 1 Fun team too.  She was in her first expedition race and racing with T1 diabetes. "When I was diagnosed myself 10 years ago I was just told to stop racing," he said, "but things have changed and it's amazing to see Helen coping with all the demands of expedition racing for the first time, acting as team Captain, and managing her diabetes as well."

As the finishers were read out he mentioned the Gan Canny team, who were the final full course finishers and the dark horses of the race. "This team really inspired all of us! They came in 6th and were a young team in their first ever expedition race, so it's an amazing result."

The top 3 teams were called up on stage for their trophy presentation by the Argyll and Bute Provost Maurice Colly, and to receive the heartfelt applause of the people who know best what they all achieved. It was also announced that Racing Denmark had been offered a free place at the new Expedition Ozark race next April. (Carrie Boyle from the Ozark Foundation was volunteering and observing at the race this week.)

Paul McGreal, James Thurlow and Tom Gibbs

There were thanks given to James and Lisa Thurlow of Open Adventure too, especially as it's their last event, after 16 years and organising over 150 races. Gary Davies made a presentation from the AR World Series and thanked them for all they had done for British adventure racing over so many years. "As they raced themselves, they put the extra level of effort in to create journeys for us, and they really understand what adventure racers want." He said. "They are very people focussed and that makes a difference to us all. Adventure racing will miss them."

James said, "Interacting with the positive and friendly people that AR attracts has been a pleasure these past 16 years. I can't think of a better bunch of people to be with and I'm sure that is why you are here too.  Now we're handing on the baton to Paul (Durty Events) and he is taking on this race for the future." He added that it was the right time to move on and concentrate on his Open Tracking company, so the Thurlows will still be at many events, and will still be involved in UK and AR World Series adventure racing.

Once the speeches were over it was time for some entertainment, provided by the extraordinary accordion playing talents of Ruairidh MacLean. Legs and bodies may have been tired, but he got the room dancind into the night to finish ITERA 2022 on a high note.

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